VSOrlando
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Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:39 am

Does anyone else think that Virgin Atlantic's network has gone completely downhill with the destinations the airline has to offer. Recently they announced they were ending service between London Heathrow and Dubai because it was no longer 'economically viable' and because of a 'lack of bookings'. I understand that Dubai is extremely competitive because of Emirates, but looking at Virgin Atlantic's website, flights to Dubai for next few months are fully booked up. I mean London to JFK is a busy route with more competition but VA can still operate multiple flights there. It is obviously Delta making VA do this, especially as it is rumored Delta are returning to Dubai.

Virgin Atlantic has been ending routes to Cape Town, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai and Sydney in favour of Atlanta, Detroit (which has already ended, surprise surprise) and Seattle (because of Delta hubs) and adding extra services to other US cities. Delta is ruining VA in my opinion and its network in the near future will be entirely made up of US cities.

I am not an expert of economics but was there ever demand for flights between Manchester and Atlanta or London to Detroit, especially compared to Dubai?

Image

These were the glory days of Virgin Atlantic.
 
David_itl
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:04 am

MAN-ATL is the old Delta route which began July 1991 and was transferred across to VS and is now an integral part of their growing MAN network. Off top of my head it was something like 120,000 passengers per year most of whom will be connecting at ATL.
 
FromCDGtoSYD
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:09 am

I think it's more of a case of being able to generate more profit from other routes. VS is doing the best it can with the little it has. I hope they can secure a few slots with the new runway so they can start expanding again.
 
Bricktop
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:15 am

And yet they are adding A350's. I think the rumors of their demise are premature to say the least.

Oh but those A350's will end up DL right? ;-)
 
f4f3a
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:15 am

It’s more about delta Air France profit than vs . South and Asian routes can go to or are operated by Air France KLM . Switching vs to do Atlantic prob frees up capacity for delta on other routes . Also vs can prob operate those routes more cheaply
 
axiom
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 am

Ah, yes - the shape of Virgin Atlantic's route map is more important to you than their financial statements. Don't blame you - the latter is much more sexy looking.
 
Sancho99504
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:46 pm

VS has operated more like Pan Am in its history more than anything else and look how that worked out.
They have been flying to destinations that are either heavy business routes or heavy VFR. With little to no feed from European routes and a lot of less than daily routes to business destinations, that has a tendency to drive fares down to attract customers, drive up costs of trying to get passengers, which leads to losing money. DL is helping them go from the red to black. As they return to profitability, expect some routes to return, but not all.
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TedToToe
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:52 pm

axiom wrote:
Ah, yes - the shape of Virgin Atlantic's route map is more important to you than their financial statements. Don't blame you - the latter is much more sexy looking.

axiom, your comment above could also be put to Sir Richard Branson! 'Four Engines for Longhaul' and ' No way AA/BA'. It's just as well DL are taking an interest and turning them around.
 
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:58 pm

They'll probably generate stronger returns from their changes, though.
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EvanWSFO
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:04 pm

FromCDGtoSYD wrote:
I think it's more of a case of being able to generate more profit from other routes. VS is doing the best it can with the little it has. I hope they can secure a few slots with the new runway so they can start expanding again.


By the time LHR gets a new runway, every airline as we know it may go away or look vastly different. :banghead:
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chepos
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:07 pm

Putting all (most) their eggs into the North Atlantic (US) basket. Hopefully that works out in the long run. I see them cutting further into routes going East, with the strength of CX and BA on the LHR HKG route it will be a matter of time before HKG gets the axe.
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drgmobile
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:11 pm

VSOrlando wrote:
Virgin Atlantic has been ending routes to Cape Town, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai and Sydney in favour of Atlanta, Detroit (which has already ended, surprise surprise) and Seattle (because of Delta hubs) and adding extra services to other US cities. Delta is ruining VA in my opinion and its network in the near future will be entirely made up of US cities.

I am not an expert of economics but was there ever demand for flights between Manchester and Atlanta or London to Detroit, especially compared to Dubai?


You're looking at it the wrong way. Flights between Manchester and Atlanta or between London and Detroit are not about demand between these two points. Virgin Atlantic and Delta are operating a network, so only a fraction of the passengers on these routes would be flying between these two points.
 
ScottB
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:28 pm

VSOrlando wrote:
I am not an expert of economics but was there ever demand for flights between Manchester and Atlanta or London to Detroit, especially compared to Dubai?


Compare what VS can charge for MAN-ATL with what they can charge for LHR-DXB and you'll have your answer. A MAN-ATL round-trip three weeks from now costs £1300 on VS. LHR-DXB on the same days costs £590 on VS. Demand is certainly lower for MAN-ATL but it's likely a more lucrative niche market and they're not going to get crushed trying to compete with the massive capacity thrown on the route by EK.

VSOrlando wrote:
Virgin Atlantic has been ending routes to Cape Town, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai and Sydney in favour of Atlanta, Detroit (which has already ended, surprise surprise) and Seattle (because of Delta hubs) and adding extra services to other US cities. Delta is ruining VA in my opinion and its network in the near future will be entirely made up of US cities.


VS's long-term problem at LHR has always been tied to a general lack of slots. They don't have enough to offer a network from LHR which is as comprehensive as BA's, and it's near-futile to compete for high-value customers when you only offer five destinations in Asia and four in Africa. Instead, it makes more sense to focus on the Atlantic market where they can be a much stronger #2 player in concert with DL. The DL hubs allow VS access to network breadth in the U.S./Americas which is competitive (although still not as broad) with BA/AA.
 
codc10
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:55 pm

The highest and best use for VS' slot portfolio, as it currently stands, is for comprehensive TATL flying in concert with DL. DL does not need to flow traffic beyond LHR; it has CDG/AMS which serve that role far more effectively.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:21 pm

Was Virgin Atlantic profitable having its own independent network or is it stronger being part of DLs Transatlantic network? I have a feeling that being essentially a branch of Deltas network is more profitable
 
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OA940
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:44 pm

Yeah they're so stupid that they don't wanna cease operations. Goddamn British idiots falling under the influence of those pesky Americans
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DL747400
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:52 pm

VS is no longer in a position where they have the luxury of flouting a route map that is glamorous in appearance but doesn't offer them any reasonable possibility of being profitable over the long term. It was time to try something new and different. Fortunately, SRB saw the light.

Like it or not, VS is now part of the DL/AF/KL global network and their routes will likely continue to be tweaked in search of ways in which VS can better support the global networks of their owners.

In cases like DXB, it isn't difficult to put forward a credible argument that those aircraft have the potential to generate greater returns if used on other routes.
Last edited by DL747400 on Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arion640
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:59 pm

The days of Bermuda 2 are gone. Open skies gave Virgin a big hit, with the ME3 killing any eastbound traffic from LHR. Qatar and Emirates provide un rivalled connections to places like SYD with a good product.

Gone are the days of full 747’s to JFK, replaced by half full A330’s.
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spinotter
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:19 pm

EvanWSFO wrote:
FromCDGtoSYD wrote:
I think it's more of a case of being able to generate more profit from other routes. VS is doing the best it can with the little it has. I hope they can secure a few slots with the new runway so they can start expanding again.


By the time LHR gets a new runway, every airline as we know it may go away or look vastly different. :banghead:


By the time LHR gets a new runway, there will be no more airlines - it will all be Hyperloop!
 
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Revelation
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Reading the comments on this thread, it makes me hope for someone to offer a truly disruptive product on the TATL routes. Someone will eventually hit on the formula. DY is coming close, close enough for IAG to feel it needs to protect its interests.
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questions
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:23 pm

As a friendly reminder:

VS = Virgin Atlantic
VA = Virgin Australia
VX = Virgin America
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:25 pm

chepos wrote:
Putting all (most) their eggs into the North Atlantic (US) basket. Hopefully that works out in the long run. I see them cutting further into routes going East, with the strength of CX and BA on the LHR HKG route it will be a matter of time before HKG gets the axe.


At one time news said that once HX begin their London flight, VA will codeshare with them and end their own flight to HKG.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:26 pm

questions wrote:
As a friendly reminder:

VS = Virgin Atlantic
VA = Virgin Australia
VX = Virgin America


hongkongflyer wrote:
At one time news said that once HX begin their London flight, VA will codeshare with them and end their own flight to HKG.


AAARGHHHHHH!!!
 
ZuluTime
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:36 pm

VS strategy post 9/11 was to expand outside the UK/US market so that the airline was not totally dependent on that market and any factors such as economic downturns or events such as 9/11. All that said, the majority of the expansion into other markets such as BOM, MRU, ACC simply wasn't profitable and the UK-US market bounced back relatively quickly. In the meantime, other markets like NRT fell by the wayside (it never really recovered for VS after SARS and the Narita/Haneda changes left VS stuffed).

The moves are not driven by Delta strategically. Delta's only interest is that VS makes a profit. VS didn't make any profit on these routes, therefore they're gone. They are expanding JNB this winter and I wouldn't be surprised if you saw some VS growth outside the UK-US market, but it will be totally driven by profitability, not having a nice balanced network which looks good when plotted on a map. That's exactly how it should be, and if Delta is bringing that rigour to the VS Board then it's a good thing. VS needed to change from being a great airline to being a great business. They aren't always one and the same thing.
 
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:55 pm

Revelation wrote:
Reading the comments on this thread, it makes me hope for someone to offer a truly disruptive product on the TATL routes. Someone will eventually hit on the formula. DY is coming close, close enough for IAG to feel it needs to protect its interests.

Sure that will be JetBlue whenever they get their acts together and make a decision. Tatl right now is clearly lucrative compared to other markets they have cut. Time for some new entrants that can offer competitive j product and reduce prices for everyone.
 
directorguy
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:41 pm

I for one will miss VS at DXB.
When I first flew them 10 years ago I really enjoyed their Y product, their engaging cabin crew, and really loved how they differentiated themselves. This was on the A346s to DXB.
Their Y+ product is also very good. Overall VS are much better in Y and Y+ than BA. At one point they became a bit dated but saved themselves with a brand refresh when the A333s/787s arrived.
It is my impression that most of the people on the Dubai route originated in the UK and were mainly visitors. EK on the other hand seems to capture the UAE market, business traffic as well as a loyal UK base. Not sure what VS charges to DXB from LHR compared to its competitors.
 
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:07 pm

The problem is they’re not in an alliance. No serious road warrior is going to take VS because they don’t want to leave that many FF points on the table. I live in London and fly regularly to NY LA and SF and wouldn’t dream of flying VS unless it was a DL codeshare — so why not fly DL? Or BA AA UA, hell even AI are in *A and fly LHR EWR three times a week.
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jbs2886
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:09 pm

VSOrlando wrote:
Does anyone else think that Virgin Atlantic's network has gone completely downhill with the destinations the airline has to offer. Recently they announced they were ending service between London Heathrow and Dubai because it was no longer 'economically viable' and because of a 'lack of bookings'. I understand that Dubai is extremely competitive because of Emirates, but looking at Virgin Atlantic's website, flights to Dubai for next few months are fully booked up. I mean London to JFK is a busy route with more competition but VA can still operate multiple flights there. It is obviously Delta making VA do this, especially as it is rumored Delta are returning to Dubai.

Virgin Atlantic has been ending routes to Cape Town, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai and Sydney in favour of Atlanta, Detroit (which has already ended, surprise surprise) and Seattle (because of Delta hubs) and adding extra services to other US cities. Delta is ruining VA in my opinion and its network in the near future will be entirely made up of US cities.

I am not an expert of economics but was there ever demand for flights between Manchester and Atlanta or London to Detroit, especially compared to Dubai?

Image

These were the glory days of Virgin Atlantic.


Ahh, yes. The glory days of losing tons of money.

To the extent Virgin has been "ruined" - its of its own doing by doing prestige routes (a la Dubai). This is precisely what you are proposing they do.
 
Lufthansa
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:48 pm

I hate to say it but all their eggs really are in the USA basket. There's old traffic rights from the BOAC days they could be using. YVR to Sydney and LAX to Auckland for example. A huge chunk of NZ's LAX-LHR business isn't from New Zealand. I suspect however unless they get a short haul network .... something AF and particularly KL won't won't.... routes like CPT will be hard to support. BA pulls it off easy because its got feed from ARN/CPH/OSL/AMS/FRA/HAM and domestic SA.
 
santi319
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:52 pm

I mean lets not pretend anymore and talk about the pink elephant in the room...

VS is now literally Delta International Connection
 
VSOrlando
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:55 pm

questions wrote:
As a friendly reminder:

VS = Virgin Atlantic
VA = Virgin Australia
VX = Virgin America


yes I know VS is the code for Virgin Atlantic, I was simply using VA as an acronym for Virgin Atlantic.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:59 pm

VS owns a number hard to get slots at LHR as well as at LAX, ORD, JFK that DL can use to their advantage as better yielding TATL routes. VS also has slots at airports where DL is weak, like EWR. DL then can use their existing slots at key airports for more profitable long haul non-stops.
 
travelin man
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:54 pm

There is no such thing as “slots” at LAX or ORD (not sure about JFK or EWR).
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:09 pm

santi319 wrote:
I mean lets not pretend anymore and talk about the pink elephant in the room...

VS is now literally Delta International Connection

Did you even read the thread? It has been mentioned in this thread and the last 25.

Everybody loves to say this, but ignore the fact that when VS was just VS, they bled money. Now they actually have a sustainable business
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chepos
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:58 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
santi319 wrote:
I mean lets not pretend anymore and talk about the pink elephant in the room...

VS is now literally Delta International Connection

Did you even read the thread? It has been mentioned in this thread and the last 25.

Everybody loves to say this, but ignore the fact that when VS was just VS, they bled money. Now they actually have a sustainable business


And your point is? They may be making money now , but they are now nothing more than a DL connection carrier based in LHR. They fly basically what is of use to DL and it’s compadres. Nothing wrong with that but let’s call it what is. Sugar coat it as much as you want, second fiddle to BA at LHR then and now more than ever.
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XAM2175
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:38 am

VSOrlando wrote:
yes I know VS is the code for Virgin Atlantic, I was simply using VA as an acronym for Virgin Atlantic.


So you were deliberately choosing to not only be wrong but also potentially introduce ambiguity to the discussion?
 
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:41 am

santi319 wrote:
I mean lets not pretend anymore and talk about the pink elephant in the room...

VS is now literally Delta International Connection


:checkmark:
 
chrisp390
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:33 am

CUN was said to be profitable, and yet it was cut too. No idea why they would cut a strong VFR route like that.
 
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chrisnh
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:43 am

When VS doubles BOS service in S19 whose flight is being axed...the DL one?
 
Lootess
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:02 am

The OP couldn't be more incorrect. It's a laugh saying DL is 'ruining' VS, they weren't even making money before Richard Anderson and SRB got together. Now VS is doing MUCH better.

US-UK is making money with hooking up within the DL network. The days of flying a route just to say you have it is over. That is why Delta is the most profitable airline.
 
tphuang
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:13 am

VS still lost money this past year. And it could be argued they only made money the years before due to the upturn in airline industry rather than partnership with DL.
 
sq256
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:41 am

chepos wrote:
Putting all (most) their eggs into the North Atlantic (US) basket. Hopefully that works out in the long run. I see them cutting further into routes going East, with the strength of CX and BA on the LHR HKG route it will be a matter of time before HKG gets the axe.


VS just recently signed a interline/codeshare deal with VA for access to SYD/MEL. With passengers being able to fly the "Virgin" brand in general from LHR to SYD/MEL via HKG (VS to HKG, then VA to SYD/MEL).

Can't see HKG being axed anytime soon unless if the (very unlikely) rumour of HX taking over the LHR flights does eventuate.
 
ScottB
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:37 am

chepos wrote:
Sugar coat it as much as you want, second fiddle to BA at LHR then and now more than ever.


But given the slot restrictions at LHR, VS will always be second fiddle to BA, regardless of whether they concentrate on the transatlantic market or offer a more geographically broad network. Detroit isn't as glamorous as Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Sydney, but ultimately VS needs to make money -- and their efforts to diversify beyond their core transatlantic market don't seem to have yielded sustainable profitability outside a couple of individual routes.

And they've tried efforts like Little Red which was a huge flop.

santi319 wrote:
VS is now literally Delta International Connection


Is it really, though? Do routes like IAD-LHR, SFO-LHR, MIA-LHR, GLA-MCO, or LGW-HAV provide much benefit to the DL route network? VS is at a huge disadvantage to BA-AA in the transatlantic market from LON; coordinating with their part-owner DL gives them a far stronger presence in that core market.
 
burnsie28
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:08 am

VSOrlando wrote:
Does anyone else think that Virgin Atlantic's network has gone completely downhill with the destinations the airline has to offer. Recently they announced they were ending service between London Heathrow and Dubai because it was no longer 'economically viable' and because of a 'lack of bookings'. I understand that Dubai is extremely competitive because of Emirates, but looking at Virgin Atlantic's website, flights to Dubai for next few months are fully booked up. I mean London to JFK is a busy route with more competition but VA can still operate multiple flights there. It is obviously Delta making VA do this, especially as it is rumored Delta are returning to Dubai.


Outside of the Anet rumors on Dubai, not sure thats true, Delta said they were losing money on Dubai, having the new agreement isn't going to change the economics of flying to Dubai, most of the EK traffic from the US is continuing on to India/SE Asia. Which is probably why DL is going to go back to India.

Also you can have fully booked flights but if you are only charging $100 per seat it doesn't mean much. You could have a fully booked flight to New York for example getting $500 per seat, where would you put that plane?

VSOrlando wrote:
Virgin Atlantic has been ending routes to Cape Town, Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai and Sydney in favour of Atlanta, Detroit (which has already ended, surprise surprise) and Seattle (because of Delta hubs) and adding extra services to other US cities. Delta is ruining VA in my opinion and its network in the near future will be entirely made up of US cities.


VS had stated all of these cities they lost quite a bit of money from for quite sometime. Ultimately its still VS call and while DL can help influence, it's still VS call. The difference now is that VS can send people on beyond cities in the US. DTW gave people a lot more options to other cities in the US where VS couldn't previously offer and for the record DL has taken over that 2nd DTW-LHR flight, so yes it has the demand. While the network on VS metal isn't as glamorous the reality is the VS network is now considerably larger with access to more passengers. Previously it was London- XXX city and that was it. If someone from LHR needed or wanted to get to some place outside of those VS cities they would have flown BA/AA or a US carrier that could get them there. Now VS fliers have more options than they ever did before to the US. If VS were to ever be part of SkyTeam I think you might seem some expansion into Asia again, but as an independent with limited slots etc, I think VS is in much better shape now.

VSOrlando wrote:
I am not an expert of economics but was there ever demand for flights between Manchester and Atlanta or London to Detroit, especially compared to Dubai?


There is some demand, but as mentioned above they are about connections. With the JV it doesn't matter if its operated by DL or VS, they split revenue 50/50 on each flight.
 
anstar
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:50 am

Bricktop wrote:
And yet they are adding A350's. I think the rumors of their demise are premature to say the least.

Oh but those A350's will end up DL right? ;-)


Ah yes A350's which will be their 5th fleet type for an airline with 38 planes.

axiom wrote:
Ah, yes - the shape of Virgin Atlantic's route map is more important to you than their financial statements. Don't blame you - the latter is much more sexy looking.


Except even with dropping all these routes and focussing on North America they still aren't making a profit.

chrisp390 wrote:
CUN was said to be profitable, and yet it was cut too. No idea why they would cut a strong VFR route like that.


Yes a strange one and LAS is also moving to LHR to use one of the frequencies that used to be LAX. So looks like they are downsizing at LGW by 1 aircraft.
 
VSOrlando
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:08 am

chrisp390 wrote:
CUN was said to be profitable, and yet it was cut too. No idea why they would cut a strong VFR route like that.


CUN hasn't been cut though, and they have no plans on doing so to my knowledge.
 
anstar
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:12 am

VSOrlando wrote:
chrisp390 wrote:
CUN was said to be profitable, and yet it was cut too. No idea why they would cut a strong VFR route like that.


CUN hasn't been cut though, and they have no plans on doing so to my knowledge.


CUN is being cut. Its down to once a week and will be going away at the beginning of 2019. Yet TUI seem to remain daily on the route.
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axiom
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Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:49 pm

anstar wrote:

axiom wrote:
Ah, yes - the shape of Virgin Atlantic's route map is more important to you than their financial statements. Don't blame you - the latter is much more sexy looking.


Except even with dropping all these routes and focussing on North America they still aren't making a profit.



That's because it's a loss leader for DL. ;-)

Kidding aside, they've only had one year of losses out of the last 5, no? More break even than unprofitable.
 
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Channex757
Posts: 2350
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:07 am

Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:22 pm

ScottB wrote:

But given the slot restrictions at LHR, VS will always be second fiddle to BA, regardless of whether they concentrate on the transatlantic market or offer a more geographically broad network. Detroit isn't as glamorous as Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Sydney, but ultimately VS needs to make money -- and their efforts to diversify beyond their core transatlantic market don't seem to have yielded sustainable profitability outside a couple of individual routes.

And they've tried efforts like Little Red which was a huge flop.

And therein lies the problem. Historically VS has been something of a BA parasite; just feeding off the prime routes where it could get the suckers in. They never got into the mindset of trying things out and getting out of their comfort zone. Even Little Red was a BA-clone, or more the ghost of BD rattling its chains up and down the country.

The biggest miss for which Sir Beard will win the Eternal Bell-End award is failing (at a much more opportune time) to join SkyTeam. In fact at one stage I'd have bet on Star Alliance being the likeliest destination for VS. But no, Beardy simpered and gurned and the time for VS to embed itself firmly into Europe's travel map has passed. Now it's just a brand for customers who don't want to use BA or AF/KL, and a Delta feeder (MAN-ATL a 333 daily, MAN-JFK a 744 this summer).

VS Gatwick is almost the red haired stepchild at this stage and I can see it being spun off before much longer.
 
Jerry123
Posts: 321
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:58 pm

Re: Virgin Atlantic network going downhill?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:32 pm

With limited resources it's only natural that they focus their efforts on the transatlantic routes and look towards feeding Delta's hubs. Virgin have been hit financially by engine issues with the 787s. As for the A350s i wonder if they would've been better off ordering the A330 neo instead? With Gatwick as well in the long run is it worth keeping open the routes there and maybe concentrate more on building up LHR and MAN and maybe even looking in the long run at taking over Delta's Scottish routes.

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